CHRIST OUR EXAMPLE PART 5 – WE PARTAKE OF HIS SUFFERINGS.
We continue with our topic Christ our example. As He is, so we are and as He walked, so we are to walk. In this part 5, we will talk about Christ’s suffering. The scriptures made it clear to us that we are to partake of His suffering also. 1st Peter 2:21-24 reads“for even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an EXAMPLE, that ye should follow His footsteps . . . . . .” In 1st Peter 4:12-16), we see the example of Christ’s sufferings that we are also to partake of, for our own good. Philippians 1:29 read, “for unto us is given on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake”.
In 1st Timothy 1:16, Jesus used Paul to show us an example of suffering for those that will believe in Christ. 2nd Thessalonians 1:4-5 tells us about the suffering we have to partake for the kingdom of God’s sake. Col 1:24 and Mathew 5:10-12 say the same thing. St John 15:18-21 tells us about the hatred and persecution we will pass through for Christ’s sake. In Act 14:22, we were told we must go through much tribulation to enter into the kingdom of God. There are many scriptures in the bible that mak e us know about Christ’s sufferings, that we are to experience. We are not to only partake of Christ’s glory, but we are to partake of His suffering also. Even scroll 51 tells the Bride of the fiery trial in pattern and similitude of Christ, that only few will pass.
Christ’s sufferings can be divided into three:
- Persecution is the suffering put upon the people of God because of what they believe. The affliction meted out to them because of their faith in Christ and their faith in the sound Word of Christ. This we see all over the earth now and the persecution will increase. Satan, his cohorts, and unbelievers continue to persecute the true believers in Christ, ands lukewarm believers persecute the true-believers. Hebrews 10:32-34 tells us about affliction and spoiling of goods of believers (James 5:1 and 1Peter 5:8-9). We must not compromise because of persecution, the more the persecutions, the more the glory breaks forth in our lives, if we can remain faithful and endure the affliction. Suffering is part of the Christian race (1Peter 4:13-14; Scroll 142 last paragraph). May the Lord help us to bear and endure the persecution when its starts coming in Jesus name. The main aim of persecution by the enemy is for the believers to drop what they believe, but the true believers will not renounce what he or she believes. The true Bride of Christ must hold fast on what he or she has; and let no man steal your crown. The enemy-Satan and his cohorts must not succeed in Jesus name. Amen.
- Trial is a test that God Himself put on His children to check their faithfulness towards Him, to prove our loyalty towards God. There is what we call trial of faith (James 1:2-4), there are times God tries the faith of His people; to prove the depth of our love for Him. Example of this is in (Deut 8:2-3); the children of Israel were tested, some passed, some failed the test, some looked back at Egypt’s cucumber, garlic and onions. Lot’s wife looked back when they were supposed to abandon worldly riches, she turned to a pillar of salt. We all know about the trial of Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac in Genesis 22. All glory to Jesus, Abraham passed the test, blessings followed, promotion followed. The whole bible is full of accounts of God’s tests to His people. In Jeremiah chapter 35, we saw the obedience of the Rechabites. The trials and the tests from God to us is for our own good. May the Lord help us to recognize the tests when they come, and also help us to pass them in Jesus name. Scroll 61 Paragraph 2 tells the bride about the trial of the last days that has served as fire to refine us as gold (bride) and out of this the Lord will present Himself with a purified bride. There is something we must settle in our heart, that all the trials are for our own good.
- Cross bearing
- The third one is Cross bearing, which is the suffering or affliction we voluntarily put upon ourselves for Christ’s sake. I say voluntarily, and the crosses are of different sizes. It is something you are supposed to be enjoying, you deny yourself for it or them because of Christ. In Matthew 16:21-26 and Phil 3:7-8 we saw examples of cross bearing by Jesus and Paul. What have we denied or are we denying ourselves because of Christ’s- Word and work? One person’s self-denial may be that the money that he would have used to buy private jet, he denied himself of it and put the money into the work of the Lord. What you sacrifice for Christ’s sake is similar to how He sacrificed Himself for you. Another person may deny himself, of a wife like Paul, another may deny herself of a husband. Someone may deny herself of a demanding job that takes time away from serving the Lord. These are some of the things that are gain unto us, but we count them as dung for Christ (Phil 3:7-8). Let us cling to our various crosses, whether big or small and we will exchange them one day for a crown. Cross bearing is voluntary, no cross, no crown, we cannot eat our cake on earth and have it in heaven. We should learn to lay our treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20).
As we have all the above as Christ’s suffering, there are other sufferings also that are not Christ’s suffering, these are sufferings that we bring on ourselves, for example, suffering because of one’s foolishness, laziness, mistakes, being a busybody in other peoples’ matter, suffering as a thief, taking wrong decisions because of lack of divine guidance and so on (1st Peter 4:15). May the Lord help us to avoid self-inflicted suffering and endure Christ’s suffering. According to 2nd Corinthians 4:17, our light affliction is but for a moment, but it works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, wait for it, to God be the glory forever.
by Godwin Enemudo